What does sharpen mean?

Definitions for sharpen
ˈʃɑr pənsharp·en

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word sharpen.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sharpenverb

    make sharp or sharper

    "sharpen the knives"

  2. sharpenverb

    make crisp or more crisp and precise

    "We had to sharpen our arguments"

  3. sharpenverb

    become sharp or sharper

    "The debate sharpened"

  4. focus, focalize, focalise, sharpenverb

    put (an image) into focus

    "Please focus the image; we cannot enjoy the movie"

  5. sharpenverb

    make (images or sounds) sharp or sharper

  6. sharpenverb

    raise the pitch of (musical notes)

  7. sharpen, taper, pointverb

    give a point to

    "The candles are tapered"

  8. sharpen, heightenverb

    make (one's senses) more acute

    "This drug will sharpen your vision"


  1. sharpenverb

    To make sharp

  2. Etymology: sharp + -en

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Sharpenverb

    Etymology: from sharp.

    The weaker their helps are, the more their need is to sharpen the edge of their own industry. Richard Hooker.

    The Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen every man his share and his coulter. 1 Sam. xiii. 20.

    His severe wrath shall he sharpen for a sword. Wisd. v. 20.

    The grating of a saw when sharpen’d, offends so much as it setteth the teeth on edge. Francis Bacon.

    Th’ squadron bright, sharp’ning in mooned horns
    Their phalanx. John Milton.

    It may contribute to his misery, heighten the anguish, and sharpen the sting of conscience, and so add fury to the everlasting flames, when he shall reflect upon the abuse of wealth and greatness. Robert South, Sermons.

    No: ’tis resistance that inflames desire;
    Sharpens the darts of love, and blows the fire. Dryd.

    E’re ten moons had sharpen’d either horn,
    To crown their bliss, a lovely boy was born. Dryd.

    Her nails are sharpen’d into pointed claws,
    Her hands bear half her weight and turn to paws. Addis.

    Overmuch quickness of wit, either given by nature, or sharpen’d by study, doth not commonly bring greatest learning, best manners, or happiest life in the end. Roger Ascham.

    Th’ air sharpen’d his visual ray
    To objects distant far. John Milton.

    Epicurean cooks
    Sharpen with cloyless sauce his appetite. William Shakespeare.

    Such an assurance as will sharpen mens desires and quicken their endeavours for obtaining a lesser good, ought to inspire men with more vigour in pursuit of what is greater. John Tillotson.

    Mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me. Job xvi. 9.

    My haughty soul would swell;
    Sharpen each word, and threaten in my eyes. Smith.

    Enclosures not only preserve sound, but encrease and sharpen it. Francis Bacon.


  1. sharpen

    Sharpening is the process of creating or refining the edge joining two non-coplanar faces into a converging apex, thereby creating an edge of appropriate shape on a tool or implement designed for cutting. Sharpening is done by removing material on an implement with an abrasive substance harder than the material of the implement, followed sometimes by processes to polish/hone the sharp surface to increase smoothness.


  1. sharpen

    To sharpen is to enhance or refine the quality, focus, or effectiveness of something. This act can refer to a wide range of items such as a tool, a skill, or the mind. It could also mean to make something clearer or more distinct. The process typically involves removing or altering parts to improve the overall object or skill.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sharpenadjective

    to make sharp

  2. Sharpenadjective

    to give a keen edge or fine point to; to make sharper; as, to sharpen an ax, or the teeth of a saw

  3. Sharpenadjective

    to render more quick or acute in perception; to make more ready or ingenious

  4. Sharpenadjective

    to make more eager; as, to sharpen men's desires

  5. Sharpenadjective

    to make more pungent and intense; as, to sharpen a pain or disease

  6. Sharpenadjective

    to make biting, sarcastic, or severe

  7. Sharpenadjective

    to render more shrill or piercing

  8. Sharpenadjective

    to make more tart or acid; to make sour; as, the rays of the sun sharpen vinegar

  9. Sharpenadjective

    to raise, as a sound, by means of a sharp; to apply a sharp to

  10. Sharpenverb

    to grow or become sharp

  11. Etymology: [See Sharp, a.]

How to pronounce sharpen?

How to say sharpen in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sharpen in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sharpen in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of sharpen in a Sentence

  1. Ungad Chadda:

    It allows us to sharpen our focus.

  2. Walter Savage Landor:

    Heat and animosity, contest and conflict, may sharpen the wits, although they rarely do; they never strengthen the understanding, clear the perspicacity, guide the judgment, or improve the heart.

  3. Debasish Mridha, M.D.:

    Great habits sharpen our thoughts and make us great.

  4. Confucius:

    The expectations of life depend upon diligence the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.

  5. Christian Poll:

    (The sculpture) is a symbol of the need to hold on to the climate deal we made in Paris. We need to keep working on climate solutions, sharpen our goals and make more initiatives to convert to sustainable energy.

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Translations for sharpen

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"sharpen." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/sharpen>.

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    • A. conform
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